Sooner or later it was bound to happen. The strident insistence by Israeli leaders that nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran represented the threat of another Holocaust, and that anything and everything would have to be done to prevent them from attaining a nuclear capability, brought forth what should have been expected. America presented the new Israeli leadership with an offer they could not refuse: Agree to the two-state solution and America will take care of the Iranian threat.
It sounds crazy, and it is crazy, but there it is. The gullible swallow it hook, line and sinker, as do those who want to believe that unless a Palestinian state is established, Israel will go under. Here is the answer to their dreams: a secure Israel and a Palestinian state all in one.
Who is offering Israel this Faustian bargain? Nobody in an official capacity in Washington. Yet the rumors are flying across the Atlantic that this is what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can expect in Washington, so he better prepare himself to wrestle with this dilemma. It is only to be expected that these rumors are echoed in Israel by those who are rubbing their hands in glee in the expectation that Netanyahu now won't be able to refuse the magic formula - two states for two peoples - which he would not say when Tzipi Livni tried to squeeze it out of him as her condition for entering the coalition.
That this proposition is no more than the fantasy of some deranged mind, or more likely a deliberately leaked rumor in an attempt to corner the Israeli prime minister, should be obvious to any clear-thinking person. A nuclear Iran represents a major problem for the United States, regardless of the threat it may pose to Israel. Nothing of similar magnitude faces the U.S. president at this time. To imagine that the United States will decide to deal or not deal with this problem depending on Israel's position on the Palestinian issue is absurd. The U.S. will have to bite that bullet one way or another.
The deliberately leaked rumors before the visit of an Israeli leader to Washington are already old hat. They are part of a campaign intended to soften him up and build pressure in the local political scene, to make him more pliable when he meets the president. A lesson learned over the years by Israeli leaders who have visited Washington is to ignore these tactics and remain firm in presenting positions that are in Israel's best interest.
The reality is that the two-state solution is a fantasy, impossible to implement now or in the foreseeable future. It will be impossible until Palestinian terror has been defeated, and until then, there can be no progress toward peace in the area.
On the other hand, Israeli spokesmen's persistent emphasis on the Iranian nuclear threat is of little use and may even be counterproductive.
There is nothing new that Netanyahu can tell President Barack Obama about Iran's drive to attain nuclear weapons. Obama has been given this information by his staff. The frequent intelligence exchanges between the United States and Israel have provided him with the intelligence available in Israel. All of the arguments for and against military action by the U.S. have already been presented to him numerous times by his advisers, as well as the chances of achieving progress through diplomatic activity and economic sanctions imposed on Iran. He has heard it all, and he will have to decide on the course of action he considers most appropriate for protecting America's interests.
Israel has nothing to gain and much to lose if the impression is created in the United States that Israel is trying to drag America into a military "adventure" in Iran. That is liable to cause long-term damage to the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
In any case, the White House's decision will not depend on arguments voiced by Israeli spokesmen, so it is best to leave that subject alone, unless our opinion is solicited.
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